The Coronavirus Pandemic 2019 (Covid-19) stressed the importance of a digital tax administration along with the effective and efficient implementation of payment systems, according to the National Center for Tax Research (NTRC).
“The adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have never before emphasized the importance of a digital tax administration not only to ensure the safety of tax authorities and taxpayers from the threat of the virus, but also as a means to effectively collect taxes,” NTRC reported in its journal.
The State Analytical Center said the use of payment systems in the tax administration was no longer new in the Philippines, as the BIR had already adopted several digital innovations in an effort to encourage tax compliance and improve collection efficiency.
However, in addition to the problem of Internet connection, lack of reliable and secure payment infrastructure and cold attitude of the general public to digital payments, as cited in the GEAR 2018 study and Fintech (financial technology), there is also a need to ensure effective implementation of cross-border payment systems. online transactions to ensure that nothing escapes taxation in the country, ”the statement said.
GEAR 2018, which measures the government’s efforts to accept electronic payments, ranked the Philippines 55th out of 73 countries, with an overall score of 58.2 out of 100, which “provided an intermediate environment for government e-services.”
Referring to the study, NTRC stated that the low level of acceptance was due to the constant use of cash in its operations.
NTRC, citing a report submitted by Financial Technology during the 2017 convention, said that 96 percent of operations in the Philippines were still in cash.
In addition, the lack of a reliable and secure payment infrastructure and the slow connection to the Internet in some regions have also contributed to low levels of acceptance.
“Digital adoption of payment systems is important for tax authorities and taxpayers, as it reduces the cost of tax compliance and administration,” NTRK said.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, BIR’s ongoing digital transformation has not only been crucial to ensuring the safety of both tax authorities and taxpayers from the threat of the virus, but also helping to make its services continuous,” he added.